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10 Tips for a Healthy Spring Season according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

With spring, we welcome the season of rebirth, renewal, and regrowth. The perfect time for cleansing and rejuvenation, to rise early when the sun comes out, to be outside, to smell the flowers, and to be active.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, these are some spring season associations:

Element: Wood

Organs: Liver and Gallbladder

Color: Green

Taste: Sour

Emotion: Anger

Stage of development: Birth

Spring is a beautiful season, but unfortunately for some, the energy of the liver can get stuck and develop allergies, headaches, muscle aches, and sometimes even moodiness, irritability, poor sleep, and poor digestion. The wisdom of TCM can help ease these symptoms and get your body back in balance.

Here are some wellness recommendations for a healthy spring:

1. Eat less or even fast to cleanse the body from the heavy foods of winter. Overeating taxes the liver.

2. Eat sweet foods like honey, carrots, young beets, and sweet, starchy vegetables. Complex carbohydrates like grains, legumes, and seeds also have a sweet flavor.

3. Eat pungent foods and herbs such as basil, fennel, marjoram, and rosemary, and include onions and garlic in your cooking.

4. Raw foods are allowed but in moderation to avoid weakening digestion. Cook food for a shorter time. Sauteeing, light steaming, and minimal simmering are recommended.

5. Avoid greasy foods, alcohol, deep-fried foods, and spicy foods.

6. Eat foods that support the liver. The color associated with the liver is green, so eating broccoli, lettuce, kale, spinach, dandelion, and peas, is encouraged. Sour foods (like pickled veggies) should also be included because sour is the taste associated with the Liver.

7. Exercise regularly.

8. Make sure you're asleep before 11 pm. According to TCM, qi and blood become most active in certain organs at different times of the day. Between 11 pm and 3 am, the energy circulates in the gallbladder and liver meridians. It is recommended to be in a deep sleep state during this period so the liver can get enough nourishment and perform its job in its best way.

9. Deep, deep breathing! When we take deep breaths, and the diaphragm muscle between the thoracic and abdominal cavity moves up and down, it massages the organs below it. Massaging the liver allows the stuck energy to be released.

10. Get acupuncture. It will balance your body, improve your overall health and treat the root of your allergies, pain, and more.

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